ReFocus: The Films of David Fincher

Ed. collection, 15. August 2019.

Call for Publications

Date: August 15, 2019

We are currently soliciting 250-word abstracts for essays to be included in an edited collection on David Fincher to be published as part of the University of Edinburgh ReFocus series, which examines overlooked American directors (series editors Robert Singer, Frances Smith, and Gary D. Rhodes). The collection aims to broaden and deepen the understanding of Fincher as a filmmaker with distinct aesthetic and cultural significance.

While a considerable amount of critical energy has been exerted on Fight Club (1999), much of the rest of his oeuvre either has been neglected or discussed minimally in academic circles. This collection hopes to address those gaps by brining Fincher’s other work into closer proximity with professional scholarship and extending the critical discourse into some of the many uncovered topics of a prolific and timely director. Feature films will serve as the basis of the collection, but we plan to pay fair attention to his contributions in different media like the music video and Netflix shows.   

Possible topics may include, but are not limited to, the following:

Analysis of individual works (feature films, music videos, work in television and streaming outlets)

•  Perspectives on race (diversity or its lack), class (bourgeois characters/wealth), sexuality (desire, sex acts, fetishes, homoeroticism), and gender (the representation of women, masculinity, power dynamics)
•  David Fincher and reception studies, esp. globally, which might include approaches to translation or censorship 
•  Fincher as compared to his contemporaries; comparisons to directors with similar commercial or critical reputations; earlier work vs. later  
•  Theories of the body, terror, or violence
•  David Fincher and adaptation studies (literature to film, music to film, or real life to film)
•  Genre (thriller, horror, true crime) and performance (performances by his actors as well as performativity as a concept within the films)
•  Fincher and the success or failure of interpersonal relations, network theory, attempts to build/manipulate connections in American society
•  Fincher and the cult figure/cult movie
•  The politics of Fincher (are there consistent patterns or ideologies?)
•  Economics and the financial system in Fincher’s work: capitalism, neoliberalism, freedom, etc. 
•  Fincher and technology (both as a theme and Fincher’s technical production processes/uses of special effects; analog vs. digital cultures; the effects of mass media)
•  Fincher and psychology (both in relation to the history of psychology and psychoanalytic interpretations)

Essays included in the refereed anthology will be approximately 5,000 to 7,000 words in length, referenced in Chicago endnote style.

If interested, please send a 250-word abstract and brief bio to the anthology’s editor by August 15, 2019:

Keith Clavin
Comparative Media Studies/Writing
Massachusetts Institute of Technology